Something I miss...

Before having kids my life was vastly different (but aren't most parents).   I had a very wide circle of friends and was constantly on the go.  There were weekly dinners and leisurely lunches with girlfriends.  Trips away for spa weekends and longer vacations to warm tropical places.  I had a great life and loved every minute of it.

But it definitely changed after the birth of my first child.  Most of my friends then were either single or married but with no children.  I know it wasn't their fault that things changed it was mine.  Honestly, after having Hayden I was overwhelmed with being a first time mom.  I had worked for almost 15 years and now I was home all the time with a baby.  I gradually started to shut myself off from friends so they just started to drop off.  It still makes me sad to even type this.

I did start to find some "mommy" friends but it was different.  I found out quickly that some (not all) of these friends were different than my old friends.  I have met many types but my favorite is "My kid is smarter than your kid" mommy with a close second being the "Oh you are doing that wrong" mommy.  The game had changed and I really wasn't prepared for it.

Another big one for me is "I own kids but I don't like all kids" so while I may hit it off with a mom you must be able to tolerate the kid(s) that comes with them.  I lost a few potential friends along the way with the kid(s) being just too much to handle.

So I just started to focus on Hayden and trying to be the best mom I could be.  We seemed to find a new normal and I started new hobbies that I could do on my own.  Life was good but I was still missing my friends.

When Hayden was 3 we moved from the fairly isolated community we lived in to a bigger city.  Calgary had so much to offer us and I finally thought I would make new friends.  I joined a "mommy" board.  In the beginning it was good and I did make some lovely friends.  But it got ugly in the end and I got tired of moms judging & criticizing each other so I left the board.   I let a few friendships die then and I'm still sad about that.  (I will say I have tried a few other boards and must say my experiences were better.)

At that time we started to go through fertility treatments to try to have more kids and again I found that a very lonely time.  Old friends were somewhat sympathetic but really didn't understand it all.   Fast forward 5 years and we now have 3 kids.  So of course our life got busier through the years and I have just seemed to let more friends go.

I really really envy people that can juggle both kids/husbands and close friendships.   Being a mom is hands down the hardest job I will probably ever have and I just never seem to have anything left at the end of the day.  I hear people say "You must make time for yourself"but that's easier said then done. With two kids in school there is homework, dinners, after school activities to organize plus I still have a toddler at home full time.  Add in a husband (like mine) who has a demanding job and is usually putting in 60+ hours a week at the office it's hard to have your own social life.

I know it won't always be like this and as the kids get older they will need me a little bit less but then I wonder if I will be able to make friends just for me.   Don't get me wrong I still have friends that are wonderful and I know if we had the time we would be closer but my tank  (& probably theirs) are just to empty after tending to our families.

I hope after reading this you don't think "why did you have kids " because I want to say I don't regret for one minute having my family and I love them deeply but I just sometime miss the close relationships that I had in my previous life.

For now I need to be content to steal those occasional evenings out with friends and enjoy the life I'm living right now with my beautiful family.  And for all the friends that I have let go I'm truly sorry and I hope you will forgive me.

I would love to hear how other moms find that balance between family and friends.

post signature

Wordless Wednesday (January 25th)

Experimenting with some cool settings on my new digital camera.

post signature

20 Questions

I thought this would be fun when I read it on my friend Jen's Blog so I lifted it from her.

Here we go....
1. What is one of your favorite ways to spend a Saturday?
Everyone gets up at different times, Faruq usually makes a big breakfast and we just all casually start our day.  The kids have either swimming or skating then a stop at the library on the way home.  We spend the rest of the day just relaxing at home and make pizza to go with a few family movies.  I wish everyday was Saturday.
2. List your top 3 favorite TV shows: (This is hard because I watch quite a few)
  • Coronations Street (starting watching it 25 yrs ago and I still hooked)
  • Dexter
  • Mad Men 
  • Any series on Netflix (sorry I cheated but had to add this)
3. Would you rather be in pictures or take them?
Take them as I have always felt I don't take a good picture.
4. Why do you blog?
I started to document our lives when Hayden was born so family could read about our adventures.  It has turned into a place where I can share some of my favorite things as well as still update family and friends on what we are doing.
5. Share 5 websites that you visit regularly:
  • Facebook
  • Pinterest
  • Twitter
  • Dlisted or Perez Hilton
  • Kijiji
6. If you could have lunch with one person from your Twitter list, who would it be?
I can't pick just one because there are quite a few I would love to meet in person.  I have already met a few lovely ladies here in Calgary.
7. List a few of your favorite snacks:
  • Pretzels
  • Cheese and Crackers
  • Fruit (Grapes and Mangos are my favorite)
  • Roasted Chick Peas
  • Hummus and Veggies
  • Chips (depending on the time of the month)
  • Chocolate (see above)
8. Do you have a pet?  If so, what kind?
We just added a cat to our family before Christmas.  He is a 5 year old Tabby and his name is Mr. Gilroy (That was his name at the kennel and never changed it when we got him home.) 
9. Which 3 material possessions would you struggle to live without?
  • My MacBook Pro
  • Slow Cooker
  • Washer/Dryer
10. What’s your favorite drink?
A lovely glass of either red or white wine.  I'm not picky.
11. Do you enjoy cooking?
I love to cook but love to experiment more and wish I had time to do it.  
12. Do you have children?
Yes !  We have been blessed with three (but if you read my blog you should know that already).
Hayden (8.5), Laila (4) and Sophie (2)
13. What are your favorite hobbies?
  • Cooking
  • Baking
  • Cake decorating 
  • Surfing the web for interesting blogs.
  • Updating my own blog.
  • Browsing Pinterest for inspiration
  • Gardening
  • Reading 
  • Digital scrapbooking
  • Photography
14. Would you consider yourself to be shy or outgoing?
Shy !
15. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would you change?
There a a few but one is being a procrastinator. I always leave things right to the end and usually pay for it.
16. Who is your favorite actor/actress?
Loving Melissa McCarthy right now and Rob Lowe just never changes.
17. What’s the coolest thing you’ve done this week?
My life is pretty boring so there isn't much cool going on but I have started to refocus on my journey to a better healthier me so I'm pretty excited about that.
18. Do you live near your family?
Sadly no...My parents live in Gibsons, BC so they are 12 hours away.  But we continue to hope they move closer.
19. List 3 of your talents:
1.  Becoming a pretty good cake decorator.  2.  I can organize any mess (and might even become a professional organizer).  3. Terrific multi-tasker - Who isn't with multiple small children.
20. What is your greatest attribute?
I try to always treat people with dignity and respect the way I would like to be treated.
That wasn't too tough !!  Now it's your turn !!

post signature

Positive Changes - 2012 Edition (January)

 Last year I had both highs and lows in my quest for a "healthier" me.  The biggest lows by far were injuries that seem to plague me for the better part of the summer.  I had times when I honestly just want to pack it in and not work through the pain.  But I forged forward and rehabbed the injuries.

One of the biggest highs was losing approx. 40 lbs and keeping it off.  I have heard a lot of people say "Losing weight is the easy part but keeping it off is tougher".  While I agree somewhat with that statement I have to saying losing it hasn't been a total walk in the park for me.  I love food and it's been tough to manage that love with my desire to be healthier.  I have learnt it's one day at a time and if you go off the rails not to throw the towel in but just pick yourself up the next day & continue on.

While having a trainer was a wonderful thing (a luxury really) we chose in November (for numerous reasons) to go it on our own with regards to the exercise portion. We have all the equipment and while the workouts are not quite as intense I'm still able to do things on my own at the times that work best for me.

I did try an online training site called "FitOrbit" for a month and thought it was pretty effective.  For a very low monthly fee a personal trainer will create a meal and workout plan for you.  At the beginning you are required  to fill out  an online questionnaire that covers a variety of topics and from that you were given a list of trainers that would best suit you.  After picking the trainer they will create your personal plan and email them to you.  The plans were detailed and easy to follow.  There was a huge variety of meals and they would substitute to fit your likes.  The exercises were laid out in a easy to follow plan and each one had a video that you could watch to ensure you were doing it properly.

I chose not to renew with FitOrbit only because I have joined on with another program instead.  It's just early days so once I have been doing it for awhile and hopefully see results  I will be happy to share which one it is.

I had a wonderful Christmas break but It's a new year and time to get back to business with my "Positive Changes" journey.   All in all the damage was not so severe and I'm happy to be back on track.  

I would love some company on this journey so if you are making positive changes in your life I would love to hear about them.

Here's to 2012 !!!

post signature

Guess who went to Preschool yesterday ?

I couldn't lie to her and honestly it wasn't really that bad.  The busses were not running due to the severe cold so there was only 4 in her class.  Lots of extra time with the teachers.

I should be thankful that she enjoys it so much and wants to be there.  I'm hope that is always the case my sweet Laila !!

post signature

Please Watch This !!

post signature

Wordless Wednesday (January 18th)

Best Friends




a lifetime !

~ Laila (4) & Sophie (2) ~
January '12

post signature

Deep Freeze

No sadly I'm not talking about the big white box that holds my extra food in the basement but I so wish I was.  We have had beautiful weather up until this past Sunday (thank you Mother Nature or global warming) but with one big mother lovin' swoop we have plunged back into the depths of winter.  The weather forecasters did warn us but it didn't make it any easier to go from + 10 to -30 in the matter of a few days.

I so long for the days when my kids were babies and we had no reason to leave the house when this weather hit us.  I'm thankful that Hayden gets a ride to and from school most days so at least I don't have to venture out really early but Laila goes to afternoon preschool and silly me I did not sign up for the bussing option (that has been rectified for next year).

On Monday morning I asked Laila if she wanted to play hooky from school and I totally expected "Sure Mom".  Nope not my kid she was all like "No mommy I need to go to school cause I learn stuff".  So off we went to school and to be honest it really wasn't so bad (not gonna lie though I would have preferred to be home in my PJ's).   Today we get up and it is even colder than yesterday so I again offered the chance to stay home with mommy and Sophie...I even offered popcorn, candy and movies but no way was that kid staying home.  I now have serious doubts she is actually mine and may concern some genetic testing to confirm it.

I have decided tomorrow if it is still as cold as it was today I'm going to lie.  That's right I'm going to tell her it is Saturday so there is no school.  I don't condone lying to your kids( okay expect for Santa and the tooth fairy) but seriously this kid won't give me a break.

From the look of our short term forecast I better put my best face on and be prepared to go to battle with 4yr old.

We are suppose to go back to -5 on Sunday which will seem balmy compared to this deep freeze now but Sunday is a long long time from now.

Wish me luck !!

post signature

First Impressions on the Shaw Gateway and Portal System

We have had the Shaw Gateway installed for just over a week and have to stay it is pretty darn cool.

We had originally looked at it last year when Shaw first rolled it out but at a cost of $350 it was just a bit too much to spend before Christmas.  Plus we had just switched to Shaw earlier in the year and all of our PVR's were practically brand new.

Fast forward to a few days before New Year's Eve and I read on Shaw's Facebook page that they were having a secret sale on Gateway systems.  For $148 you would get the Gateway and one portal (additional portals would be $48).   Good deal...Right !  Originally they had intended to offer this to just new customers but somewhere along the way they decided to extend the offer to existing customers as well.

The Gateway is a convenient system if you have more than one TV or PVR in your house.  We have 4 TV's and two had PVR's attached to them.  But if I wanted to tape something downstairs to watch while I was working out I had to go that specific PVR and set it up.  But with the Gateway and Portal System you can set up show to record on one of the portals and then watch it on any of the other TV's.

So my darling hubby went bright and early on the first day of the 2 day sale to purchase a system.  The technician arrived about a week later and within a few hours we were enjoying the new set-up.  Of course, just after we had it installed I started to hear horror stories about the Gateway's not working properly and that the system's were somewhat flaky.   We have had no issues yet (I'm sure I have just jinxed us by writing that) and have been thrilled with it.

I do find the menu a bit of a challenge to navigate but it's only because it's new and different looking from the old one.  If the system continues to work well I think it's definitely worth a look.

post signature

Weekly Wrap-up (January 13th)

Lord I wish I would get some motivation back to start blogging again.  I know I have said this a few times last year but it is really bad this time.  I seem to alternate between having too many things to blog about (so I get slightly overwhelmed and don't blog anything) or I got nothing.

Even now this post is tough.  I just don't have much to chat about and that totally isn't like me.  So I will just throw out a few random things and see where that takes us.

The Kids:


It's time to do school renewal forms and once again we are trying to decide what to do with the kids.  Hayden had interviewed at another private school and we have a 2nd interview next week to see if it is a good fit for them and us.  He doesn't want to move but they have a very good academic program so it might be a better fit for him.  As well, the school is only about 10 minutes from our place so logistically it would be easier drop off/pick up.

He has started skating lesson again through the U of C.  He loved it so much last winter and because he pulled some awesome grades for the first part of this school year we have added some extra curriculum activities back.


Our lovely Laila will be returning to Providence for a 2nd year.  She has come so far with her speech therapy this year that it really was a no brainer to send her back for her junior kindergarten year.  Not only has her speech grown she now knows her alphabet and has started to spell and recognize words.  She is crazy about learning how to read and will grab anyone who will sit with her to "read" her books.  She loves numbers as well so we are working on simple addition and subtraction.

Over these past 4 months Laila has taught me a valuable lesson that you should never let a person's disability define them and what they are capable of.  I honestly admit after being told Laila had severe speech and comprehension delays I had questions of what her future capabilities were truly going to be.  I tried to put on a brave face and say that it was  going to be okay but truthfully I had doubts.  The unknown can be a very scary thing to face but I can honestly say now I don't have doubts.  She has the determination and drive to succeed and this speech issue is just a small bump in her very long life journey.  I'm so excited to watch her blossom even more.


As for Sophie I'm trying to find a program that she and I might be able to go to a few mornings a week starting next fall.  We are moving Laila to a morning class so it will be an ideal time for Sophie and I to do something.

I'm still having a hard believing that we just celebrated that little girl's 2nd birthday.  My baby is now a toddler and seems to change daily.  She has always been somewhat independent which I put down to be the 3rd child but now she is determined to do everything on her own.

What's Mom and Dad up to....


He is up to his eyeballs in year end stuff at work right now.  He has work 12 out of the 13 days and the days are usually 14 hours or longer.  It's been a tough start to 2012 but the end is near and we should be back to regular programming within the week.


I am back to my regular routine and couldn't be happier.  It was tough while my parents were visiting to workout as my gym is in the same area they were sleeping so I just tried to grab time when I could.  It's amazing to me how hard it can be to take weight off but how incredibly easy it is to put it back on.  I had a wonderful Christmas but by the end I found my jeans were starting to get a little snug again and I was generally feeling sluggish.  

I plan on doing a more in depth post about what I have been up lately with diet/exercise so I will save it until then.

The bright shiny mixer Faruq got me for Christmas has since been returned to the store.  I tried it twice and found while it was bigger it just didn't have a motor that was going to be adequate to handle what I was mixing.  So I made the decision to return it and wait until I could afford the one I really wanted.  My old kitchenAid is perfectly fine for now (My poor mom got the shaft as she was going to take the old one.... Sorry Mom).  When I told Faruq I wanted to return it he just started to laugh because in the last 20 years I have probably kept a dozen things he has actually bought me.

I am however loving my new camera and have been taking lots of new pictures of the kids.  I can't wait to play with it more.

I hope you all have a lovely weekend ~  I see from the morning news that Calgary is about to be hit with a blast of winter next week so we locals should enjoy the warmer temps while we have them.

post signature

Happy 2nd Birthday Sophie

We celebrated Sophie's 2nd birthday on December 29th.  Honestly, I'm not sure where the last two years have gone but my baby is now a toddler in every sense of the word.  She is a delightful little human being that makes us all happy but do not be fooled as she is the true boss of our house.  She can rule the roost with her little fists but no one really seems to mind.

 ~ 3 months ~

~ 1 year ~

~ 2 years ~

The decision for her cake was an easy one as Sophie is all about everything Minnie Mouse.  Of course, with the date of her birthday we chose to just have a small celebration with family this year.

She loved her cake but instantly grabbed for the Minnie Mouse on the cake.

Presents were a big hit for the first time as she really couldn't be bothered opening them at Christmas.

But it would not be a party until Sophie nibbles on the cake.

Happy Birthday my beautiful little Sophie ~ You have blessed us all more than you will ever know and made our family truly complete.  I can't wait to see what the next year brings for you !


post signature


I have really neglected my little blog for the past few weeks but it has been a nice break with my family during this holiday season.

My parents arrived from British Columbia on December 16th and are with us until January 5th.  The kids enjoy having them here so much and we have had such a wonderful visit that we will all be sad when they leave on Thursday.

This year our celebrations seem to start very late as the kids where in school until December 23th.  Years past we have always had a few more days off before Christmas so it made it a bit rushed to get it all pulled together but Santa managed to arrive on time and everyone was thrilled with what he brought.

~ Our Christmas tree ~

~ Christmas Eve ~

~ It is near impossible to to get a picture with all three kids smiling at me. ~

We really kept to the 3 gift per kid rule and I found they really played with their toys and were not so overwhelmed.

Hayden has been bugging us for an iPhone and we all know that wasn't going to happen but we did get him an iTouch which he was equally as thrilled with.

We also got him a very cool little camera.

Polaroid has this cute camera that shoots pictures similar to the old Polaroid that we had when I was a kid.  The only draw back is the roll only contains 10 pictures and I have yet to find a distributor in Calgary.  So I ordered 12 packs for now and will reorder from this place in Montreal when I need it.

Laila got a DSi for Christmas but honestly she is more thrilled with the Barbies, books and puzzles she got.

Sophie got a doll almost as big as her which she carted around for a few days but has since parked it in the toy room. She seems more interested in playing with Laila's stuff so whatever.

The old guy managed to find me as well.   I'm super excited to have been given a new Olympus camera.  For almost a year I have been using my small point and shoot camera because my trusty Canon suffered mechanical difficulties just before Christmas last year and the cost to fix the problem was going to be just to high to justify.

I did a lot of research on the new cameras and was totally set on the new Rebel T3i but the guy at the camera store showed me the new Olympus PEN E-P3.  It was love at first sight and I was hooked but it was a bit expensive.  I loved my Canon but always found it a bit big for what my current needs are so the Olympus is a step or two smaller but picture quality is very comparable.
So Christmas morning I found the camera and an additional lens waiting for me.  I have been thrilled with the camera so far.  I can't wait to start taking nicer pictures of the kids and sharing them on here.

The only thing Faruq asked for was a super duper running watch which Santa brought him.    He was looking at a new MacBook but just couldn't seal the deal.

Hayden got Battleships which we all played about a 1000 times.

Faruq and I were so fortunate to slip away for New Year's Eve this year and spent two lovely nights in Kananaskis at the Delta Lodge.  So nice to reconnect with him as we won't get another break alone until this summer.

We have so much to be thankful for this year and to celebrate.  I hope you all had a lovely holiday with your family and friends.

Here's to 2012 !!!

post signature